Thursday, July 21, 2016

Adamawa: the Politics of Nuhu Ribadu’s Return to APC

The return of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu to the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a national issue, but it has come along with some serious political hullabaloo in Adamawa state.

Adamawa APC is fragmented into three groups: Governor Muhammad Jibril Bindo group headed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the former Governor Murtala Nyako group led by his son, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako, while the third group, popularly called Abuja/Buhari group is led by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engineer David Lawal Babachir.

The Atiku/Bindo group has never hidden its opposition to Nuhu’s return to APC, because they see it as a serious trap to them in the games of 2019; as the Babachir and the Nyako groups who are oppositions within for the Bindo/Atiku group have not shown any open resistance to Nuhu’s moves. Is Ribadu member of any of the group? Is there a link between Nuhu’s return to APC and the politics of 2019 in the state? Is the Abuja group behind Nuhu’s return? 

Nuhu may not be a direct member of the any of group- but the Abuja group led by the SGF will feel very at home with Nuhu Ribadu because he is a stakeholder of one of the legacy parties- the defunct ACN. He can be an excellent ‘game-changer’ for the group when it comes to the 2019 governorship elections. Beating Governor Bindo in 2019 governorship election will require a miracle if the governor can sustain his current infrastructure development drive especially in the opening up of new roads and urban development, moving away from the era of sharing the state’s commonwealth among family, friends and elites. Furthermore, like a ‘political-conqueror’- Bindo has never lost an election. Governor Bindo’s greatest mistake was his sidelining of the members of the legacy parties- ACN, CPC and the ANPP.

It will be unsurprising if the Abuja group is among those that pressurized Nuhu to return to the APC; Nuhu can be a special political weapon for the group in another way- President Muhammadu Buhari may be keen to give Nuhu Ribadu an important appointment, because Nuhu was very instrumental in the merger that produced the APC. So, if the group effected Nuhu’s return to APC and he eventually gets any appointment, it will have a prime addition to its connections. 

Many people will view Nuhu’s return to the APC as the continuation of the pursuit of his political ambition. But Nuhu is a man that has unique charisma, credibility and is loved by many Adamawa people; his return to APC may turn out to be purely for the best of the party and Adamawa state in general. 

Does Atiku have something to fear with the return of Nuhu to APC? - Yes and no! Atiku have proven to be the only man that always survives and pulls weight in Adamawa politics whichever way the tide turns. Nuhu cannot in any way present a threat to Atiku- a savvy politician, but Nuhu’s return to the APC will definitely alter the present permutations and settings in the Adamawa politics; which Atiku absolutely enjoys. Little wonder Nuhu’s return has sent jitters to the Bindo and Atiku group.

The Nyako group still feels betrayed by Governor Bindo and its main political crave is to have Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako as governor, if Nuhu Ribadu has returned to the APC to contest the 2019 governorship election, the Nyako group will be not be comfortable with him, but if his return is just to join the party’s front men, the group will be happy, because Nuhu was among those individuals that vehemently opposed the impeachment of Murtala Nyako, though Governor Bindo also did that as a senator from Adamawa North.

Whichever way, the pendulum swings- Nuhu Ribadu’s return to the APC will be highly welcome by the APC national caucus and it will definitely view Nuhu’s return beyond the mere Adamawa local politics, because Nuhu is a strategist with international status, credibility and he played an outstanding role in the formation of the APC. Furthermore, the APC will love to deny the PDP the honour of having a ‘Nuhu Ribadu’ in its fold. Nevertheless, Nuhu’s return to the APC will continue to generate some interesting political ripples in Adamawa state. And, it is good for democracy and real spirited politics. 

Zayyad I. Muhammad Jimeta, Adamawa State, 08036070980.

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